The difference between a radical and a liberal (progressive) explained by a MotherFucker
Context circa 1968, to be taken as a direct response to Chris Hedge’s hatchet job on Occupy titled “The Cancer In Occupy” courtesy of the UAW/MF Berkeley Commune
etlr replied: This works better in it’s original context. Hedges might share the same DNA as the bougie Hippies and Student Movements, but I wouldn’t say black bloc’ers and their ilk are anywhere near as radical or militant as Panthers or French Students. If anything Hedges massively over-estimated the militancy/seriousness of radicals within Occupy.
I intentionally left it short with the intent of anyone interested following the link. Personally I think Hedges shares DNA with the certain elements of the college student left, and LATER IN THEIR LIVES, a middle class progressive liberal belief system. But I’m partial because I WAS a Yippie!/Hippie (mostly YIP and beyond that
) in the 60s (1968, 14 yr old runaway to the Lower East Side from Brooklyn
) and that particular element, indeed, just like the beatniks and every subcultural grouping eventually consists of mostly ‘Weekenders’… You know, “Posers”.
It’s inevitable… Theo Roszak
wrote about this in The Making of a Counter Culture way back in 1969. He analyzed how the ostensibly hedonistic hippies DID become politicized (Abbie had A LOT to do with it but he was a real-life role model for me so I’m partial
). Note that a number of these hippies went on to do things like start The Well (Prankster Stewart Brand and friends
) in the Bay Area. One of the first “Online Communities” in the days long before the letters W W W meant anything.
A lot of the problems with Black blocs DO revolve around a lack of analysis and over-arching strategy (smash the state is NOT a ‘strategy’
) and yes Chris Hedges DID overestimate the radicalism of most of the youth AND adults participating in Occupy, but Adbusters broached the idea as a Meme.. a temporal thing… An insurrection NOT a focused movement.
Indeed it was… It attracted everyone from progressive liberals to the black bloc to the homeless to teabaggers to right wing bank conspiracy theorists and Lyndon LaRouchites too. Personally, I don’t think this is a bad thing. Every time we heard the media say “What do they want?” THAT WAS the voice of institutional fear speaking. When the media gets it’s hands on a single issue it can EASILY spin, pigeonhole, reflect back in the funhouse mirror (as Roszak so eloquently put it
) any single issue movement. But when it comes from all sides they panic…
Nevertheless, Occupy was a baby step and if we’re not careful and watchful the powers WILL use their ‘lessons learned’ to build a better police/surveillance state. But I just don’t see the rage. I watched tens of thousands of people storm the justice department the winter the US invaded Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War and smash every reachable window in a pitched street battle with the police then headed for the White House, which was surrounded by city busses, that had brought the police, as Richard Nixon sat inside, days numbered, watching the SuperBowl…. Now the US is openly and actively involved in every conflict on the planet, and everyone’s worried about the cost of gas.
Two things become of Insurrections… They dissolve, or they’re crushed. But don’t worry (snigger
), SOMEONE will be around selling Occupy buttons and Ballcaps 40 years from now just like Dana Beal made a stoner mockery of the Yippie! ‘brand’. It’s almost better that way. Let the Prog-Libs sell their memorabilia and nostalgia and maybe they’ll just stay the fuck out of the way (pardon my language
). Those elements are the opportunist sociopath compromisers that everyone from Lenin onward (Left Wing Communisim: An Infantile Disorder is a little thick in history I’m not familiar with and aimed at what HE considered the opportunists [ultra-leftists and anarchists] but it’s easy to see Lenin saw the opportunists in the Bolshevik Revolution just like they exist in other forms now as compromisers
) had words about.
Yeah… Black Blocs MAY BE opportunists, but I see them as more of a security threat. Their ranks are full of police agents and provacateurs due to lack of basic operational security and more ‘organic’ issues like having known each other only for the length of their schooling instead of having known the people for most of their lives as a neighborhood street gang might. Or for that matter, the homeless, AKA “Street People” who have pre-existing anarchic structures that are ‘sloppy’ but often communally functional including in the security and protective sense of the word due to the level of so-called ‘illegal activities’ (brought up almost directly at the tail end of the poster
) in that culture.
I’m still of the opinion that this… for want of a better word, ‘stasis’… could change, and change fast… Just like Occupy happened fast. But it’s beyond my predictive abilities… perhaps anyones.